What to Look for in a Toothpaste

putting toothpaste on a toothbrushHopefully, you’ve done it all your life, but the fact that you’re used to brushing and flossing your teeth every day doesn’t mean you automatically do it right every time. Little things, like how much pressure you apply to the brush and what kind of toothpaste you use, can influence the success of your daily hygiene routine. For instance, certain ingredients found in different toothpastes can serve specific functions, such as strengthening your teeth’s protective enamel or helping you control infectious oral bacteria.

The Active (and Other) Ingredients

One of the most common ingredients found in most major toothpaste brands is fluoride, which is known to help bolster the protective shield of tooth enamel surrounding your teeth.  Enamel is comprised almost entirely of the minerals calcium and phosphate, but when weakened, it can gain strength as fluoride binds to its thin, weak layers. Many brands also contain baking soda to help whiten teeth and neutralize the substances produced by oral bacteria, like bad breath-causing sulfur gases. If you have sensitive teeth, then look for a toothpaste that contains fewer abrasives (usually advertised specifically for tooth sensitivity).

What are You Brushing, Anyway?

The ingredients in your toothpaste are important, but how often you use it is even more so. The point of brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice every day is to control the accumulation of oral bacteria and the plaque they produce as protection. Brushing plaque from your teeth’s surfaces helps remove bacteria before they can infect your teeth and gums, but if you miss a spot, or skip a day, then plaque can calcify into tartar.

Keep Teeth Clean Away from the Sink

If plaque hardens, your toothbrush and toothpaste will no longer be able to remove it from your teeth, and the bacteria underneath it will remain until you attend a professional dental cleaning. Besides brushing and professionally cleaning your teeth, you can discourage plaque buildup by drinking plenty of water, which rinses your mouth of germs. You can also chew sugarless gum to facilitate a healthy flow of saliva, your mouth’s natural rinse, especially after meals.

About Your Park Ridge Dentists:

Though we can rebuild your smile if it’s compromised by cavities or gum disease, preventing such issues with improved dental hygiene can help you avoid the need for complex restorative treatment. Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are highly-skilled general, restorative, and implant dentists serving the Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.

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